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HBO Is Treating ‘The Last Of Us’ Like Its New Flagship Series

After recent video game-to-TV adaptation misadventures like Halo on Paramount Plus, it’s easy to be skeptical of other projects in the same genre. But there has always been something about The Last of Us that has seemed liked maybe, just maybe, this one could work out very well indeed.

– It’s an HBO original (not Max, even), which usually is some signal of quality, despite recent drama over there.
– It stars The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal and Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey, which feels like a solid cast.
– It’s being written by Craig Maizin, who did Chernobyl, and Neil Druckmann of Naughty Dog is heavily involved in making sure it stays true to the game.

Now, at long last, HBO has finally showed off the first footage from the show, as so far it’s just been behind-the-scenes pics snapped by paparazzi and fans from far away. Not only that, but The Last of Us was given the premiere slot in the new “what’s coming to HBO” trailer, which had a host of new and returning series, but was given 30 seconds to itself, anchoring the trailer.

In it, we get a glimpse of many major characters, and get to hear lines delivered that are straight from the game itself, which is always a good sign, especially in this case where the game already played like a show or movie in its original form.

But what seems clear to me is that HBO has such confidence in this, they may be laying the groundwork for building up The Last of Us as another mega-franchise under its banner. Clearly it’s doing this with Game of Thrones and House of the Dragon, but the vibe here is that The Last of Us also has the potential to be another Next Big Thing for them.

We do not know how far into the first game The Last of Us season 1 will get, whether it’s the entire thing, or if there will be a break point and season 2 will finish the rest of it. And of course, there’s an entire sequel to cover if the show is popular, and that could easily be another two seasons by itself, given its length. So no, I am not getting the impression the idea here is for a one-off miniseries covering the first game in a handful of episodes. HBO has big, big plans for The Last of Us.

It’s almost weird to be this confident in a video game adaptation, given how much can and usually does go wrong with these. But all the stars feel like they’re aligning for where this is airing, the cast, the crew and now this new footage. We’ll find out next year how it all comes together.

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